by Mora Hav–
Asia is a lot more than just dragons and seemingly complicated languages: it’s a continent with an abundance of history, tradition, values and culture. Though China is indeed a populous part of Asia, not all Asian people are Chinese. Though sushi is certainly a facet of a popular Asian cuisine, not all Asian people eat it or even have a liking for it. Unfortunately, people don’t always see it that way: more often than not, Asians are glued together by the stereotypes and misconceptions that people see as truth.
College is all about forming opinions and expanding horizons, so one organization at Virginia Tech is taking the reins on educating students – both Asian and non-Asian – about the horizons that stretch far beyond their own backyards.
The Asian American Student Union (AASU) is an umbrella organization that looks over the various Asian-interest student organizations at Virginia Tech. The most anticipated annual event hosted by AASU each year is the AASU Culture Show, which showcases performances by the various constituent organizations including the Chinese American Society, the Vietnamese Student Association, and the Society of Indian Americans. The performances demonstrate traditional and cultural aspects from the past of the respective countries and juxtapose them with modern forms of performance through singing and dancing.
“The culture show is something to show others that we’re beyond advocacy: we can have fun and promote our culture,” said AASU President Manjot Kaur. “Because we are so diverse, we can have this showcase where each of our 10 constituent organizations have the opportunity to showcase who they are and where they come from.”
AASU acts a liaison between the smaller organizations and university administration and works to enhance the relationships that exist in the Asian student community. The organization also addresses problems and issues and looks to provide an educational outlet to all students.
“We’re an advocacy group for our constituent organizations and Asian students in general,” said Kaur. “For all of the groups that are registered under us, we are the larger voice that gets to represent the Asian-American population on campus.”